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Application and Formation
God continues to bless the Order and the Western Province with good, faithful men who want to preach the gospel. It takes eight years of initial formation to become a Dominican priest and six years to become a Dominican cooperator brother.
The eight years of priesthood formation consist of a one-year novitiate, two years of philosophy, one year of pastoral residency and four years of theology. The habit of the Order is received at the start of the novitiate year. Simple vows are made at the conclusion of the novitiate year. Final vows are made during the second year of theology – midway through the 5th year of simple vows. Summers are spent in pastoral ministry or classes. The third year of theology is typically spent studying abroad in another House of Studies of the Order.
Cooperator brother formation varies depending on the ministry the brother is preparing for. As with brothers studying for the priesthood, there is a one year novitiate and a pastoral residency year. Simple vows are made at the conclusion of the novitiate year. Final vows are made during the 5th year of simple vows. The norm is for cooperator brothers to have some training in philosophy and theology.
Candidates for the Order are expected to be in good physical, emotional and spiritual health. Candidates for the priesthood are required to have a college bachelor’s degree before they enter the Order. Cooperator brother candidates are required to have a high school diploma and be at least 22 years old. The age limit is 40 years old, with exceptions occasionally made on a per-case basis for candidates who are in their 40’s.